Tabasco style fish empanadas: Empanadas de pescado

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

Empanadas are different all over México. In many parts of the country, they resemble a filled puff pastry; in Tabasco, they are filled, fried tortillas. There this recipe would invariably be made with the local fish pejelagarto, but any firm-fleshed fish works well. A good idea is to make extra when grilling or poaching fish, then use the leftover fish to make these empanadas.


  • 1 pound corn tortilla dough (may be made with Quaker or Maseca masa harina mix)
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • ½ medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh green chile, seeded if desired for milder flavor, finely chopped
  • 2 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3 cups cooked, shredded firm-fleshed fish, such as grouper or baby shark
  • 1 tablespoon chopped epazote or cilantro leaves
  • salt to taste
  • corn oil for frying

Prepare corn tortilla dough, either from scratch or according to masa harina package directions.

In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the onion and sauté until beginning to soften. Add the remaining filling ingredients and continue cooking until tomato juices have evaporated.

Using the dough, form or press 12 tortillas. Place 2 tablespoons of filling on each, fold over and seal sides. Fry in hot oil until golden on both sides, drain on paper towels.

Serve with red salsa and a shredded cabbage salad or slaw. Makes 12 empanadas.

Note: It is easier to make, fill and fry the empanadas 1 or 2 at a time.

Link to source articles
Mexican empanadas: Portable pockets of flavor
The cuisine of Tabasco: Heartland of pre-Hispanic cooking

Published or Updated on: January 1, 2004 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2004
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